Older Men And Women Stand Up Against Ageism In Nigeria

PEG: Older campaigners mobilise on International Day of Older Persons to raise awareness of ageism.
Older activists in Nigeria/Lagos and Ogun State will join more than 45 countries across the world on International Day of Older Persons (1 October) to join the United Nation’s call to “take a stand against ageism”. We are so excited that it coincides with Nigerian Independence day celebration.

 There will be series of seminars with the theme, take a  stand against ageism, to mark the special day for Nigerian older men and women in Lagos and Ogun State today, they are being organised by Age Nigeria Foundation, a non-Governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of older people in Nigeria. Part of the programmes also includes courtesy visits by Older campaigners to the Executive Governor of Lagos State and Sole Administrator Eredo Local government where factsheets on ageism will be presented to the government. Older campaigners will also hold rallies in Lagos and Ogun State to create awareness about ageism in our society with distribution of factsheets on the street to sentisize people that ageism is all around us. School children will not be left out as they will be taught on how to show love and care  to older people with Art competition as part of the programmes for the children. Mr Adebola Olalekan John who is The coordinator of Age Nigeria Volunteers in Ogun State will be in charge of the mini Marathon race in Abeokuta , Ogun State capital. Mini Marathon is organised to inculcate the youth to help create awareness about ageism in our society.

’’l experienced ageism when l applied for a loan in the bank to expand my business and the bank officials told me l am old and do not have the capacity to service the loan and payback.’’ Said Segun Ogunlana, an older man from Ilara in Lagos State.
‘’They believe the bank will be taking a big risk lf l am granted, my loan request was turned down base on the fact that l am an older person instead of considering my ability as an entrepreneur.’’

Older campaigners in Lagos and Ogun state /Nigeria are united with thousands of others worldwide as part of the HelpAge International Age Demands Action global campaign. Each year on 1 October, older men and women mobilise around the world to challenge the issues affecting them.

“Ending ageism is of vital importance. Stereotypes and prejudices about older people manifest in countless ways such as the way workers are told they must retire at a certain age, or when older patients’ symptoms are dismissed in hospitals and clinics as being age-related and unimportant,” said Kate Wedgwood, Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns at HelpAge International.

“We are all growing older, yet perceptions and assumptions about people based on their age are one of the last socially acceptable forms of discrimination.”
Older people are not always aware of how deeply engrained stereotypes impact their lives.
On 1 October, campaigners worldwide are aiming to change this by organising workshops to start a discussion with older people on what ageism is, what it means to them and how it can be tackled.

Older men and women are marching, hosting cultural events and meeting with decision-makers all to raise awareness of widely accepted discrimination and to tackle it in their communities.

Mrs. Adegunwa, Director Centre for Creative Ageing in Ogun state said. ’’Ageism is deep rooted in our society and it lead to discrimination’’. She said further,’’ Just like all form of prejudicial attitudes, ageism legitimise and sustain inequality in the society. Ageism is often hidden and impacts people’s lives in a negative way .We should not accept the negative things people say about older people. We discuss ageism with older people themselves. We need to start challenging the attitudes we all have .People that discriminate against other people because of their age discriminate against themselves’’. She concluded.
This year’s ADA Global closely links up with the World Health Organization (WHO), which committed to a worldwide campaign on ageism at this year’s World Health Assembly. Its new Global Strategy and Action Plan include a resolution proposed by delegations from 20 countries that aims to tackle ageism to “achieve the ultimate goal of enhancing the day-to-day experience of older people and optimise policy responses”.

“Ageism humiliates older people. It makes them feel invisible and devalued, as if their use to society has expired. It has also become one of the biggest barriers to older people’s inclusion in society,” said Justin Derbyshire, Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge International.

The Head of Policy, Helpage International in Africa, Jamillah Nwanjisi furher said. “Ageism is a driving force behind the denial of older people’s rights. While other forms of discrimination are prohibited by law, age discrimination is often not, including under international human rights law." She stressed that ageism is a social disease that denies older people an opportunity to live dignified lives and enjoyed their full potential.

“We want governments to accept that a new UN convention on the rights of older people is critical to changing ageist attitudes and protecting the rights of older people. To ensure they understand the importance of such a treaty, we must bring older people’s experiences of ageism to their attention.”

Mrs.Oluwayemisi Oluwole
President/CEO Age Nigeria Foundation.
No 6 Obokun street Ilupeju (DRI Unit) Lagos Nigeria West.Africa.+2348036134080,+2348058564278.


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